How to Become a Lawyer
If you'd like to learn how to become a Lawyer, this article will guide you through the general and education requirements as well as provide additional information on jobs and salary.
Types of Lawyers
There are many types of lawyers and areas in which to focus. Here's a list of 15 different types of lawyers and areas of specialization you may consider when studying to become a lawyer. Of course, there are many other specialty areas that may not be included in this list, but this will give you a good idea of what's available.
- Family Law
- Criminal Defense Lawyer
- Divorce Lawyer
- Real Estate Lawyer
- Tax Law
- Business Lawyer
- Copyright Lawyer
- State Prosecuter
- Environmental Law
- General Practice Law
- Insurance Law
- Intellectual Property Lawyer
- Personal Injury Lawyer
- Maritime Law
Lawyer Job Description
There are so many types of law and it's specialties. To keep to the nitty gritty of it all, a lawyer or attorney represents individuals, corporations, businesses, foundations, and more and offers legal counsel and aids in the process of due law for these entities and people. Lawyers represent these people, corporations and entities and offer legal counsel, and stand by their rights when it comes to the law.
Lawyer Education Requirements
Lawyers require very stringent education requirements. First, you must have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university before you can apply to a Juris Doctorate Program. A Juris Doctorate or a JD degree is what is required in order to test for or pass different state Bar Examination.
The Board of Law Examiners or Board of Bar Examiners in a given state are the responsible licensing entities that will give you licensure to practice once you've passed your examinations satisfactorily. Having your Juris Doctorate alone does not give you the legal right or permission to practice as a lawyer or attorney. You must take and pass the Bar Examinations in your state.
The Bar Examinations are a way to determine whether you are fit to practice in a given juridiction. Every state has their own requirements, so know what state you would like to practice in and contact that state's Board of Law Examiners or Board of Bar Examiners so you can prepare approppriately for that state's bar examination.
To practice as a lawyer or attorney, you will need to attend an accredited college or university and first obtain a Bachelor's Degree. Once completed, you can apply to attain your J.D. A Juris Doctorate program is most often a three year program that specializes in law that one completes after having a Bachelor's Degree.
Many entry level positions require candidates to have less than one year of experience. Having strong written and communication skills are a must, as you are always working with other people, and collaborating as a part of a team.
There are a variety of specialties you can focus on as a lawyer.
In general, if you find a particular thing fascinating, say media or television and entertainment perhaps, there are legal opportunities in that faction.
The same is true for other professions. Law reaches and touches almost every facet of our daily lives.
One job reviewed at the time of this article was seeking an applicant that had experience or interest in entertainment law, corporate law, intellectual property, and contracts or litigation. Another was seeking an applicant with experience or background in: "International contracting; Spotting issues in employment law and regulatory compliance (e.g., export-import, ATF, OSHA, etc.); U.S. Government Fiscal Law; Deployment Contracting; Service Contract Act. Experience with sustainment and logistics operations"
So you can see, there are a wide variety of areas you can go into. Many lawyers find themselves starting out at a large law firm and working under more experienced lawyers. This can provide you with a vast amount of experience in different areas before you decide on what to specialize in.
You can expect to work long hours as a lawyer. In the beginning you'll likely be carrying the brunt of the research work for the law firm you work for. As you progress, you may find yourself interacting with clients and judges more frequently, as well as making appearances in court. But this is not mandatory. Some lawyers, like patent or copyright lawyers, may not spend a lot of time in court, but spend a vast majority of their time coming up with the legal verbiage to keep their clients out of court.
Lawyer Salary Information
Lawyers median annual salary was $112,760 per year in 2010 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This amounts to $54.21 per hour. Median salary for workers in other law occupations was $74,580 per year and all other occupations was $33,840 per year.